A downtown Anchorage conference room hosted an unusual meeting Wednesday, as Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott gathered a cross-section of Alaskans to brainstorm paths forward on climate change.
The Trump administration is quietly moving to allow energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in more than 30 years, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, with a draft rule that would lay the groundwork for drilling.
Congress has sole authority to determine whether oil and gas drilling can take place within the refuge's 19.6 million acres. But seismic studies represent a necessary first step, and Interior Department officials are modifying a 1980s regulation to permit them.
Sea ice is sparse in Arctic waters off Alaska, and the implications for animals, upcoming winter weather and next year's ice pack are reported to be profound.
A lack of floating ice forced walruses to the shore of Alaska's Chukchi Sea earlier than any time on record. Perilous melt conditions forced biologists monitoring Alaska polar bears to cut short their spring field season. Other scientists sailing in the region marveled at the extraordinarily warm water temperatures. A ship, a Finnish icebreaker, made the earliest recorded vessel crossing of the once-impenetrable Northwest Passage, sailing from the Bering Strait to Greenland in July.
Dozens of walruses were found dead this week near the village of Point Lay on a barrier Arctic island that has emerged as a favored end-of-summer haulout for animals trying to survive without summer sea ice.
Federal wildlife officials suspect a stampede or stampedes. Many of the dead walruses were young animals more vulnerable to trampling. Officials hope to send a veterinarian to check the carcasses and learn more about what happened, said Andrea Medeiros, a spokesperson for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Last week’s record breaking Hurricane Irma had maximum winds of 185 mph with gust up to 225 mph and produced dangerous storm surges and heavy rain. As of this writing, after leaving a path of destruction through parts of the Caribbean, Irma's eye moved through the lower Florida Keys and was preparing to slam into Florida's southwest coast near Tampa.
The world's average global temperature is only one degree Celsius away from a potential climate catastrophe to which few regions would be more vulnerable than the Arctic. That's according to well-known author, historian and journalist Gwynne Dyer, who is a frequent commentator on international affairs, security and climate change. Globally, there's time for a reversal of global warming, said Dyer, speaking to Nunatsiaq News in advance of a presentation he is set to give in Iqaluit later this week.
In the glow of the midnight sun, we're paddling down the wild Utukok River in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Here, the wilderness swallows you, from the sweeping tussock grasslands, to the never-ending ridges that flow across the open landscape.
Caribou trails stitch the tundra as far as the eye can see. Wolf tracks lace the sand bars. A bear tears apart a caribou carcass on a distant ridge. This region has the highest concentration of grizzlies and wolverines on the North Slope, along with Alaska's largest caribou herd — the Western Arctic.
During Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's Alaska visit this past May, he issued a rather hastily ginned-up secretarial order at an oil industry conference calling for revisions to the land use plan for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A or "reserve").